Holiday Cocktails | Satsuma Orange Vodka | Gin Cranberry Fizz

I think orange should have a prominent place in all celebrations.  Who decided on red?

Of course I’m biased.  Since I was small I’ve favored orange.  Orange life savors, orange gummies, orange soda.  I think it’s genetic. My son Mark has loved orange from the time he could express himself.  Orange toys, orange foods and orange clothes.  One summer he wore swim goggles every where he went.  Not just to the pool, EVERYWHERE. When I finally asked him why he constantly wore those swim goggles he said “Because I like orange Mom” To which I replied “Yes, but Mark, your goggles are purple.” Mark said, “maybe, but when I wear these goggles my whole world is orange.” I tried them on and sure enough they looked like silver reflective lenses on the outside but on the inside they were orange lenses and when I put them to my eyes everything in sight was orange. He’s still that kid!  He sees the world through creative, kind and colorful lenses.

I still love orange.  Any citrus really but now I’m finding more adult ways to work this amazing fruit into my menu. (more…)

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Roasted Vegetables and Sage Pesto Baked Salmon

Roasted vegetables are a staple in my cooking throughout the year but never more consistently than in the fall and winter months. The entire house smells delicious when there is a pan of assorted vegetables and a few cloves of garlic roasting in a hot oven. For this weeks post I thought I would share one of my favorite roasted vegetable recipes. It’s a slightly altered recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks,

This recipe is for Roasted Vegetables and Sage Pesto Baked Salmon. You don’t actually need a particular recipe to enjoy roasted vegetables. They are delicious with just about any dish. (more…)

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Hosting Tips for the Holidays

With the Holidays right around the corner I thought I would take time to share a few hosting tips that have worked for me over the years with links to a few of our favorite recipes.  After many years of hosting Thanksgiving Dinners I’m inclined to say Cater Everything!  And you could easily do that.  Heinen’s has a wonderful spread available for the price it’s a steal.  BUT I can’t do that.  If cooking isn’t your thing, I say go for it, but I have been cooking for years and if I try to pretend now that I can’t or simply choose not to do it there will be some big retaliation.

The kitchen has long been my place to connect with my family especially my kids so a holiday is just an extension of that with all hands on deck, serving the best ingredients and favorite dishes.  It starts early.  Well, actually it starts days ahead of time, but on Thanksgiving Dat for instance we wake early to take the turkey out of the brine and get it onto the grill.  We start the day with a good breakfast.  Its important to feed your help.   Keeping them hydrated is also a must. Pear Mimosas and Cranberry Margaritas usually do the trick (more…)

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Outrageously Good Turkey Chili

Wow that’s a huge statement!  Outrageously good!   I don’t throw words around like that, you’re going to want to read on.  If I called it Turkey chili you would keep scrolling.  Almost everyone I know has made or has at least tasted turkey chili.  But, this turkey chili is in a whole different league.  It’s outrageously good!  So what makes this so good? Chili is chili right? Nope, keep reading. 

We live in a wonderful neighborhood with an active social committee that organizes many family events. Every year there are concerts in the park, fishing contests, an Easter egg hunt, neighborhood Halloween pizza party, a progressive dinner and a wild four day July 4th celebration just to name a few events. Every fall crock pots come out for the annual chili cook off. (more…)

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Spiralized Sweet Potato with Cashew Cream Sauce

Growing up I was never a big fan of sweet potatoes. They were not something that my mother cooked regularly. At holiday time the sweet potato casserole that somehow ended up on our table was overpoweringly sweet with little other flavor. Sweet potatoes were my least favorite holiday dish. Today I could eat sweet potatoes every day. Literally, every day.

One of my favorite ways to eat them is baked, however I like to bake them then cool them (usually in the fridge until the next day) Then cut one open and sprinkle it with sea salt and a fresh squeeze of lime. The fresh bright flavor of the lime works with the sweetness of the potato and the salt, well, need I say more? They are also delicious par roasted in wedges then deep fried for a less healthy but addictive alternative.

I’m sharing two new ways to enjoy them. Both are made with spiralized sweet potatoes one featuring a cream sauce you will crave.
This first recipe was simply an experiment that turned out to be so addicting they barely made it to a plate. My whole gang and I were gobbling them up right off the baking sheet. To this experiment I added a batch of spiralized red beets. Also delicious! These, I served atop of a grilled ribeye that was rubbed with my dried porcini mushroom and red pepper flake rub. (more…)

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